“How long does it take for Google Ads to work?” is a question every advertiser asks when getting started—but the answer isn’t as simple as you might think.

While setting up a new ad campaign and seeing a slow growth in a week’s time can be disappointing, don’t worry! While Google Ads is an incredibly powerful marketing channel, it does require some patience and time to realize its full potential.

By running Google Ads with Profitable Marketing’s turnkey ad automation platform, you will be able to maximize the efficiency and returns on ad spend—but patience is still key.

Let’s take a look at how long you should test your new ad campaign before deeming it ineffective and making significant adjustments.

How Long It Takes for Google Ads to Work: The Real Timeline

If you are wondering how long it takes for Google Ads to work, you might be surprised to find out that an effective Google Ad campaign will take at least 90 days to mature, and then additional four to 12 months to grow into a strong campaign.

In a nutshell, Google requires this processing time to collect sufficient amounts of data and find the most effective way to serve your ad to the right audience.

Step 1: Get Through the Learning Phase

When you first sign up for a Google Ads account, it will usually take 24 to 48 hours for Google to review and approve your new account.

Once your receive the approval, Google will spend another seven days in what is called a “learning phase,” which will help:

  • Learn about your desired topic
  • Collect important data about your business
  • Study your target audience

This process can take even longer to compete, depending on how complex your audience may be or how big your business is.

What to Do?

During this initial onboarding time, you will only receive a small portion of your desired clicks and impressions from your daily budget. Google won’t spend your entire budget right off the bat.

Ideally, you can expect at a handful of clicks per day per ad group. If you aren’t getting this number, you might want to revisit campaign setup and budget. Otherwise, simply sit back and let Google do its job.

Step 2: Optimize Your Campaign

After the first week, Google will continue running your ads and gathering important data. However, don’t expect leads to start flooding in as soon as the first seven days are up.

Usually, it takes around 90 days for Google Ads campaigns to pick up momentum.

What to Do?

During the first weeks of your ad campaign, try to not make too many changes to the campaign. You want to allow Google to gather as much data as possible without having to enter the learning phase again every time you update your account.

However, small changes to keywords, ads, or ad groups don’t usually trigger a learning period, so you can spend the next couple of months making optimization changes to things like:

  • Target audiences
  • Target keywords
  • Negative keywords
  • Location
  • Ad copy

Why Wait 90 Days?

Depending on how big your optimization change was, you will need to wait a few weeks for enough data to process and determine how the change has impacted the campaign.

So, this process of optimizing and re-optimizing your Google Ad again and again, as well as the wait time required for Google to adjust to each new change, usually adds up to around three months in length:

7 days x the number of changes made = 3 months

Of course, this duration can vary depending on the type of ad you are running, your keywords, target audience, and more. However, the main point is to provide Google Ads with sufficient time to run and optimize before making significant adjustments that can trigger the learning phase.

Step 3: Grow Your Results

After all the hard work and optimizations to your ad campaign, you will finally start seeing the results after approximately three months.

What to Do?

Once you find your ideal advertisement strategy, it’s time to implement it on a larger scale. If you like the results of your optimized campaign, consider investing additional resources into it in order to reach more potential customers and achieve long-term success.

On the other hand, if you aren’t too happy with the results produced by your ad campaign, now is the time to revisit it and make more significant changes.

What Types of Changes Can Trigger the Learning Period?

While changes to keywords, ad copy, target audiences, or geographic location don’t typically trigger a new learning period, they can do so if implemented in bulk.

In addition, other types of changes are known to restart the learning process from scratch:

  • Large changes in bid or budget
  • Change in the settings for the bid strategy
  • Implementing a new smart bidding strategy
  • Significant changes to the campaign’s composition
  • Change to conversion actions

So, if you would like to implement any significant changes described above, it is best to wait at least 90 days to allow Google to gather sufficient information and fully optimize the existing campaign.

Boost Your Google Ads Results with Profitable Marketing

If you are wondering how long it takes for Google Ads to work, remember that there is no “one size fits all” answer.

While seeing maximum results with Google Ads can take a considerable amount of time, you can optimize your ad performance and spend with the help of Profitable Marketing.

As such, Profitable Marketing can connect the end-to-end process automatically by assessing your ad accounts, launching new ads, and optimizing them over time.